Drivers’ speed, drugs reviewed in crash that killed boy

EVERETT — Police here are investigating whether speed, drugs and aggression came together Oct. 30 to end the life of a 7-year-old Everett boy in a multi-vehicle crash along Evergreen Way.

The death of Josiah A. Alves, a second-grade student at Madison Elementary School, is being investigated as a potential vehicular homicide, according to a search warrant filed this week in Everett District Court.

The boy was a passenger in a black BMW that witnesses said was being driven erratically southbound on Evergreen Way. Witnesses said it was travelling an estimated 60 mph — about 25 mph over the posted speed limit — when it lost control after clipping the front fender of a silver BMW while apparently attempting to pull in front of the vehicle, an affidavit filed by Everett police detective Craig Davis said.

The black BMW spun into the northbound lanes where it was struck by a minivan. Josiah was killed at the scene.

Police are investigating each of the drivers involved that night, court papers show.

The driver of the black BMW is an Everett man, 30. Police describe him as the dead boy’s guardian. He told them he was allowing Josiah to ride in the front seat as a reward while they made a trip to the store to get some food.

Witnesses to the crash, and police at the scene, reported that the man showed signs of intoxication, including slow speech. He denied any drug or alcohol use that day, but told investigators he has a medical-marijuana authorization and had smoked pot the day before, the search warrant said. A blood test conducted at the hospital tested positive for marijuana use, according to court papers.

Detectives sought a judge’s permission to look for evidence of drug use, and to conduct a detailed inspection of the black BMW. The car had problems, the man reportedly told police, including a sticky accelerator and poor steering.

Detectives also sought court authorization for similar mechanical inspection of the silver BMW. The driver of that vehicle, 27, told police he was on the way to his job at Boeing when the crash occurred.

Witnesses told police that the drivers of both BMWs had been stopped at a traffic light, with the silver vehicle in front of the black. When the light turned green, both reportedly accelerated rapidly.

According to the search warrant affidavit, two witnesses said the black BMW reportedly moved two lanes to the left as if to pass. When it shot back to the right toward its original lane, there wasn’t enough room and it hit the left front bumper of the silver car.

“The black BMW seemed to be the most aggressive car, but both BMWs were travelling at 50-60 mph when the initial collision occurred,” according to the affidavit.

They described watching the black BMW rotate into oncoming traffic where it was hit by the van. “Their thoughts were that if the silver car’s driver had only let up on the accelerator, the crash would not have happened,” the search warrant said.

In addition to the mechanical inspection, the officers told the judge they were investigating whether the window tinting on the silver BMW was too dark to be legal. They also reported removing a loaded handgun from the glove box, and a shotgun from the trunk, after the driver alerted officers to their presence.

The minivan’s driver, a Marysville woman, 75, was seriously injured in the crash and hospitalized. She was able to speak with an officer in the emergency room. She showed indications of the presence of intoxicants, according to the search warrant.

The woman reportedly told the officer that she’d had an after-dinner drink. Detectives were awaiting the results of blood testing when the search warrant was signed Dec. 20.

They asked the judge’s permission to conduct a detailed mechanical inspection of the woman’s van and also to look for evidence of possible intoxicants.

It was unclear from court papers what evidence — if any — was collected from the vehicles by police.

Everett police Sgt. Ryan Dalberg said he couldn’t comment on an active investigation. No arrests have been made or charges filed.

Scott North: 425-339-3431, north@heraldnet.com.

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